My games group plays with the base game, Kobol objective and the Cylon Fleet board, and recently we've fancied adding something else to the game. My friends have shown an interest in the ally cards, as they're fans of the show and like the idea of Galactica feeling a little more populated, but we don't fancy the Ionian Nebula endgame just yet.
So, I've put together the following house rules for incorporating the ally cards into the game. The aim is to offer players more choices of actions during their turn, while also adding an extra element of risk to the game. The effects of the cards aren't altered (save for the use of Trauma Tokens, see below), it's just how a player interacts with the ally that's different.
We've got a game on Wednesday and I'd really like to get any feedback from more experienced players as to whether they think this will cause any balance issues. I'm hoping not, as the cards are a double edged sword and can do more harm than good. And a Cylon player can now try to talk the team into making use of an ally in the hope that the negative result comes up, or talk the team out of using them by highlighting the potential risk, so there should be something extra for all players to consider, regardless of their allegiance.
Here are the rules. If anybody has any feedback, I'd love to hear it.
Allies – Alternate rules for use with the base game (no Ionian Nebula)
During the set up phase randomly select a number of ally cards based on the number of players in the game;
• For a three or four player game, randomly select 3 allies
• For a five or six player game, randomly select 4 allies
Place the corresponding ally token to the game board, in the location specified on the ally card.
Interacting with Allies:
During a turn, the current player may choose to interact with an ally in their current location, instead of taking any other action. (they may first move to the location as normal)
To interact with the ally, the current player rolls the die:
• If they roll a 1-4, they trigger the negative effect of the card (shown in red, at the bottom of the card) The ally is removed from play.
• If they roll a 5-8, they trigger the positive effect of the card (shown in blue, at the top of the card) The ally is removed from play.
Ally dice rolls can be modified in all of the usual ways. (strategic planning, calculations & character abilities, for example)
In addition, any player can play a treachery card to add +1 to the dice roll. This represents the characters manipulating the ally through underhanded means. However, for every treachery card played into an Ally dice roll, add one trauma token to the morale resource dial, as described below.
Certain ally cards result in players gaining or discarding trauma tokens, usually used with the Ionian Nebula option.
• When an ally card instructs a player to draw trauma tokens, the current player should take the tokens and place them on the morale resource dial.
• When an ally card instructs a player to discard trauma tokens, the current player should take the tokens from the morale resource dial and return them to the trauma token pool.
At the end of the game, once Galactica has jumped for the final time, the human players must count up any trauma tokens on the morale resource dial. For every two trauma tokens on the dial, the human players lose one point of morale. If this reduces morale to 0 then the humans lose the game.
Col. Saul Tigh: Yes, we're tired. Yes, there's no relief. Yes, the Cylons keep coming after us time after time after time. And yes, we are still expected to do our jobs!
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I like the concept, but I think the trauma needs to be balanced out across the different resources. Fuel should be typically low at the end of the game, so I'd suggest you put the tokens down Food->Morale->Pop->Food->Morale->Pop->Repeat. That way morale isn't such an obvious target.
One other thing that's lost here is the individual motivation component. In the original version, a human player can put down a bad token that'll hurt the fleet since it'll save them from death later. It'd be good if you could work in some kind of self-motivation component, like something that makes players discard cards. Or executes a player at the midgame, but not permanently.
I'd also be interested in playing the kind of variant you describe. I just finished playing my first ever Ionian Nebula round and it was awful. 4 players, 2 humans and 2 cylons. The resources were low, but the Cylons tied at 3 good trauma tokens each and died permanently, so the humans got to play solo to wrap it up. The endgame was unfun for all parties! But early on it was fun going to locations you wouldn't otherwise go to so that you could trigger the ally effects!
Our Ionian Nebula games weren't quite fun either …
We may well have a try at your variant, thank you :)
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